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year in review / art 2020

It’s that time of year to review and plan for new. Good bye 2020 and hello 2021.

This year has been so different from any others, I decided I would also do something different in my end of year review.

For the first time ever (drum roll!) I reviewed my drawings for the past twelve months and I chose at random my favorites.

compassion rabbit

Compassion Rabbit, March 2020

This year has been hard and we all could use a bit more compassion, for ourselves and others. Compassion is love’s answer to pain. And as Ruth King writes in “Mindful of Race“, compassion is a weapon of mass healing.

jail cell

Are you going to simply re-arrange your furniture in your jail cell or transform your world?

Most of us live life as if in a prison cell, or at least that’s what I read once and it really struck me. Much of what we do to free ourselves from stress, burdens or pain, or live a joyous life while also managing the ups and downs with grace is a bit like re-arranging the furniture in a prison cell. We don’t ever really transcend what is holding us back.

clown kitchen

Clown Kitchen, November 2020

I don’t have much to say about this image, except it is suppose to remind me to do a series of videos that my clown Popcorn would like to do in the kitchen.

maripayasa

Maripayasa (or alternatively, Portrait of Virginia), July 2020

In case it is not obvious, the name of this image is a play with two Spanish words, “mariposa” (butterfly) and “payasa” (clown). The image was inspired by a colleague in a clown group I belong to, an older woman, and she has the most delightful pink, blue and silver hair.

welcome to the world, popcorn

Welcome to the World, Popcorn, February 2020

This is one of those old, unfinished drawings that had been in a drawer for along time, since 2012! Earlier this spring I had a breakthrough in developing a closer relationship with my clown and I was looking to mark that with a painting, a new one I thought. But then I came across this partly finished drawing that was just the figures on the spiral and it spoke to me. Saying, “Hey finish this drawing. Can’t you see, it’s Popcorn and you, the one you have been waiting for.”

merclown

Self-portrait Mermaid Clown, March 2020

I visited Florida earlier this year. And as everyone knows Florida is full of mermaids.

home sweet home

Home Sweet Home Wherever We Are, July 2020

This image reminds me of camping and getting out and about. Something I have done very little of this year.

susquehanna

Susquehanna (or alternatively, Water is Life), October 2020

This image is from a series (Home Ground) I am doing revisiting the landscape of my childhood.

collage 2

collage 2, February

Collage was my medium when I first starting doing art. I like that this year collage is making a reappearance in my practice. I also enjoy transforming greeting cards, letters and their envelopes into a new piece of art and sending it on to someone. Letter-writing, another hobby of mine.

vulvarte

Virgin of Guadalupe (or alternatively, Mother to us All) October 2020

This image uses the traditional colors of the Mexican Virgin of Guadalupe to form a figure reminiscent of the Virgin as well as evoking the shape of the vulva.

Since October I have been working with a clown colleague on developing a performance piece about the history of the vulva, de-bunking the myths and celebrating women’s sexuality. Dr. Helen O’Connell, an Australian urologist who discovered the full scope of the clitoris in 1998, has said “There will be no real equality between men and women until women’s sexual pleasure is also a priority and celebrated.”

the work that reconnects

The Work that Reconnects, May 2020

Inspired by Joanne Macy‘s the Work that Reconnects (TWR) and clowning, this last year I have thought about what the world needs to move us through this pandemia and come out the other side while nurturing along something new. I am in the research and design phase.

we are all clowns

This image speaks about my desire to help others discover their inner clown. Or at the very least learn to take themselves less seriously and be more flexible.

2020, bend not break

Gratitude that I am still here and by and large fine. 2020 may have bent me but it did not break me. How was it for you?

best wishes for 2021

All drawings are on paper with watercolor and ink and some have bits of collage paper on paper.

Thanks for reading and looking at my drawings. What do you think? Do they speak to you? What do they say? Let me know in the comments below. And wishing you the best for a regenerative and stress-free end of 2020.

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